The modelling industry in Kenya is growing fast. Agencies be popping all over.

male model - Abayi LonginModelling is exciting. You get to set new trends and if the clothes hung well on you, you can be deemed the face of something. In whatever line of duty, one has to always be responsible. Modelling earns one exposure to raves and parties all the time. Normally after a runway show is over, there is a rad after-party. People are involved in drugs, alcohol, crime and sex. You have to be very careful and tread very lightly.

In Kenya, men are presented to be macho. They are to be beefy, aggressive, competitive and the like. Modelling and such other ‘petty’ jobs are considered feminine. This is not right. Most of the world’s most respected designers are models, and more and more men are venturing into the design and modelling world.
Africa, with its ‘macho-male’ mentality, as well as claims of gayism being un-African, has made it rather hard for some of the male models. Most of them are labelled as homos.

male modelsModelling involves a lot of work, not just looking pretty. One has to attend photo shoots, know how to pose. Follow and set trends. As a model one has to be flexible enough to fit into a client’s preference. You may have to be a cover model, fitness model, or even a runway model. If your whole body does not work for an agency, one could be a hand model, an eye model, or just a face model.

In order for one to be a model, they have to firstly get their parents’ consent. This may seem lame, but some agencies end may abuse the teens who apply by having them pose distastefully, or even nude. Bringing your parents or an adult you trust on board could have them help you draft your contract. This way, both you and the agency can benefit and be proud of the work. You also have to take 3 shots (in official wear, smart dress, and a casual outfit). These photos have to be dropped off at your preferred agency. Just be sure the agency you are applying to is credible. Look up their work before you decide on which to join. Most are on facebook.

Strut it Afrika ModelHowever, it is important to note that every agency has their own standard apart from the so called general standards (requirements) of the modelling world. Everything is scrutinized; from the height, to the skin tone, the person’s physique, poses, stances, walk, and especially attitude. You have to own the stage. Captivate the audience!

Unlike popular belief, modelling too is tough. And the male models have it even tougher. The always have to look at their prime. “Even if you know what the client wants, you still have to research and fit into their vision. You may have all the right clothes, but your stance is off. You have have the right stance but the makeup may be off. Modelling is a pretty tough job. I think its cause in the end you are to express someone else’s vision, not your own. Working to fit into someone’s imagination is pretty tough” explained Jesse, a male model for Strut it Afrika.

strut it studioModelling is hard work. Not any gayer than being a business man. Like any other job, one has to be fairly determined and focused. It is a pretty cool job.

By Zahra